As a recent newlywed, our former #APbride Phyllis knows a whole lot about the stress of wedding planning. Check out her 10 brilliant tips for keeping it together as you prepare to say I do. [image by Terri Baskin Photography]
1. Take a moment to enjoy just being engaged. We didn’t start planning until 2 months after the proposal. It was nice to just sit around taking ring selfies and soak in my new found Feyoncé status. Yes, everyone wanted to know who, what, when, where, how, but we just wanted to enjoy each other before the wedding planning circus.
2. Sign up for everything wedding. I mean EVERYTHING!! I subscribed to all the wedding sites and blogs that I could find. I followed them also on Instagram and Pinterest for wedding planning ideas. It helps to get some info on next steps from the experts.
3. Time to put those wedding Pinterest boards into action! What kind of dress do you want? What colors? Decoration ideas, save the date and invitation samples, etc.? Pinterest is awesome for all of that! Just be realistic. I have some things pinned that probably would cost me a small fortune. I had to learn to downsize and have my dream wedding on a budget. Pinterest is also good for DIY projects that can bring a nice personal touch to your wedding.
4. Decide on a date for the wedding, but be flexible with changing it. We picked 3 dates that had meaning for us and none of them were available. We ended up with a date in July when Jamaica is going to be so HOT! I was dreading it at first, but after time, it turned out to be the perfect. You have to be willing to bend on some of the smaller details in the beginning stages of the planning. Trust me, everything falls in place nicely in the long run.
5. Plan a wedding that best suits you and your fiancé, and most importantly a wedding you can afford!! Do not go overboard for one day. No one at your wedding knows how much that floral arrangement costs and they don’t care. They may not even notice it. Make sure everything you do speaks to you as a couple. I would hate for you to look back on your day with regret. Also, try to stick to the budget as best as you can. Starting your marriage with a heap of debt is no fun at all.
6. Create a things to do checklist and break it down by months. Nuff said! This will keep you sane during the planning process. I never looked too far ahead. Focused on the present month and glanced at the next. It helped to keep things from getting overwhelming at times.
7. Ask for help. You cannot do everything by yourself. Don’t even try. Hopefully, you have a couple people (including your fiancé) that you can lean on and trust with tasks. This will be a huge stress reliever for you.
8. Don’t get upset if he is not as involved as you are. HA!!! I laugh at this because this is the one I work on daily. Just because he is not all ga-ga over the wedding, does not mean he loves you any less. He proposed. He wants to marry you. He just could care less what he wears or what the colors are. If you happen to have a man in that 10% of the population who wants to help out with every detail, bless you. If you have one like mine, hang in there honey!
9. Take time to remember why you are getting married – because you love each other and can’t imagine spending life without this person. Schedule wedding planning free days (or months). Have regular date nights and don’t discuss the wedding at all.
10. Pre-marital Counseling is a great way to start building the strong foundation for your marriage. The wedding is fun and will be beautiful, but it is more for your guests. At the end of the day, you both are entering a union that will last forever. I say will because I believe that if you put in the work needed, your marriage can withstand anything. You just need the tools to foster good communication and ensure that you always, no matter what, ALWAYS respect your spouse.
I’m a believer in love and wish it for everyone. Don’t get caught up in the wedding hoopla and become a crazy person. When you feel that Bridezilla coming out, take a step back and breathe. Maybe take a day (or two or three) to get yourself together before proceeding with the planning.
Remember, this is one of the happiest moments of your life. Before you blink, it will be over. Have fun with the process and enjoying being a bride!